Today was filled with wonderful adventures with the cousins! Happiness flew through our condo like a swarm of bees :) Laughter filled each nook and cranny and imaginary play flowed like Niagara Falls. Teddy will have a lifetime of beautiful memories from all the special moments he has had with his cousins. I pray...Oh Heaven above how I pray....that Nina will also have a lifetime of memories!
Nina has now been steroid free for 10 days and we see such a difference in her personality. She is "more" Nina...meaning that she is sassier, quicker to engage in banter, more willing to engage in pretend play, and super funny! Nina has always had a great sense of humor. We had lost that but now we've gotten it back. Yet another miracle! When Todd came downstairs, the kids had been up for a number of hours and Nina had moved onto her second breakfast. She paused her eating long enough to greet her father with the following:
"Dada and I are twins....we both have big face, fat legs, and big bellies!" She erupted into laughter and Todd immediately tackled her down, tickling her with all his might.
Once Nina was done insulting her father :) we all climbed into Todd's car and drove to Ellwood Preserve where we spent the next several hours hiking and having lots of fun adventures. The kids ran through mud drenched forest and trails (from all the unusual rain), screaming, hooting and hollering. Nina was in an excellent mood and even got out of the stroller to follow her brother and cousins on several instances. She especially loved crawling through a deep set of bushes in order to see the the water-filled creek. Teddy had shouted to us as we approached this particular bend in the trail that he had found a waterfall. Silas and Adelae ran as fast as they could to see the natural wonder. God bless them because they were delighted to see the 4 foot waterfall :)
|Watching hawks battle a gang of crows!|
|Marveling at a sweet lady bug....sweetly named Dot by Adelae :)|
It never ceases to amaze me how dirty boys can get! I don't know how they did it but Teddy and Silas were covered in mud and dirt. Somehow Adelae had managed to keep herself clean, with the exception of a few mud stains on her sweatshirt. The boys...well....they were filthy! So...when we returned back home, they were commanded to shower :) Lucky for me they didn't refute my claim that they were dirty little rascals!
|So many shells!|
After cleaning up, we went to the Pier and explored the different shops. I love watching the kids learn. It makes me feel like a child again, filled with eagerness and curiosity. It is a beautiful thing!
Dinner was spent at Zodo's Bowling and Beyond. There is nothing like a great time at the arcade to build the appetite. Unfortunately, the boys and Nina didn't want to bowl. I knew Addie wanted to and so I offered to bowl with her. To my dismay, she declined!!! Apparently, I am NOT cool enough to bowl with. Puh!!!
|As Adelae so aptly pointed out....Tallest to Shortest :)|
Although I'm not cool enough to bowl with, I am cool enough to go on another night hike with. As such, we dropped off Todd and Nina and then went to Starbucks for hot chocolate. With our warm drinks on hand, we went to UCSB to hike around Campus Pointe. Problem was....no one remembered to bring a flash light. Quickly we realized that hiking with out light was out of the question so we made our way back to the car. On our trek back, the kids took turns trying to scare each other by pointing out goblins and monsters lurking behind rocks and buildings. Inherently, I am a sadistic person and this trait knows very few limits. So....as we made our way back to the car, I hatched a devious plan :)
By the we reached the car, I had my plan ready for action. As I unlocked my car door, I screamed at the top of my lungs "GET IN THE CAR!!!" several times. In a flash, Adeale jumped into the front seat and crouched onto the floor as she simultaneously slammed shut the car door. Silas roared, "LOCK THE DOORS!! LOCK THE DOORS!!! STEP ON IT!!" Teddy simply sat, buckling up and laughing hysterically! I joined Teddy in laughing so hard I almost tinkled!! Within a few seconds Silas and Adelae recognized my prank and let out exasperated screams and swore there would be pay back. Once we were all settled and buckled, we called my inlaws so the kids could tell them about my torturous trick. I roared with laughter all over again as Silas told his grandmother, "Each time I screamed, I scared myself more!" How I love these kids!! They are such treasures!!
Needless to say, after running around all day and getting the living daylights scared out of them...all the kids slept beautifully!!